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The day my son discovered cavities! 

Diamond Comics 

A Name with a Fame 

pensio n in Ent e . 

A Super Sensation 

Super 3 Tone 


itmnuii & Masulu Dosa-4.00 
Lambu Molu & Corpse or Stone-4.00 
Mahabali Shaka & Black ovuliure-5.00 
Anderam Danderam & Hangama in Hotel -4. 00 


2TI9, Dmyi Gnnj, New Ddhi-1 lOQffl 

Vol. 16 



• Beginning the STORY OF RAMA— a 
simple but absorbing new narration of 
the story of the immortal epic of 
Valmiki—profusely illustrated. 

• ANUSUYA: In Characters from Clas- 

• ABODE OF VISWANATH: Story of the 
famous shrine of Lord Siva at one of 
the most ancient cities of the world— 

' A bunch of interesting stories, 
legends, humour. The Nature's King- 
dom, the serial picture story. Towards 
Better English, Newsflash. Let Us 
Know. Do You Know? and moref 

Thoughts to be Treasured 

Faith can achieve miracles while van- 
ity and egotism brings about the 
destruction of man. 

— Srf Romaic rfah no 

HTink'd W1IV f'rjv.l PmjM Ud 
.,.! bullblhM By a VISVMfMTt-A FEOOI Id. CMAf*- 
liAMAMACMa CHEN'S 1WSI H.:NDiP«m.erfOun- 
BBrranW PuW.ulonD iBt Apcoi HoM. Mwrnv 
(M MS HrWtl 

The 11B>i«, *1<lflt mil Oei>Jni cwUmd Mkoji 
•aourmg Ihwr tn any mjmf wtH ba owfi miDi 

Vol. 16 September 1985 No. 3 

...Pago 17 
. Page 23 

The Saga of Sri Jagannath 


The Man On the Mountain 
A Curse and A Cute 
The Fellow who became 
a Donkey twice 
Directions from the Daily 
The Golden Peacock 
The Treasured unt 
A Matter of Principle 
The Tsnlrik and the Stranger 
Gains More than the Loss 
A True Physician 

Plctura Starlit: 

Oliver Twist 
Prove me a Ll3fl 
Mother Meenakshi's Shrine 
at Madurai 

. Page 28 
. Page 30 
. Page 36 
. Page 39 
...Page 44 
. Page 45 
. Page 55 
„ Paga 58 

Am ba— Characters from 

Indian Classics .„ 15 

The Thief in the Night ... 34 

ANfl Howsflssh, Oo You Know, Lsl Us 
Know and Moral 


We are sure, our readers have enjoyed the Saga of Sri Jagannath as much as 
they had enjoyed the Story of Krishna. Hoary legends establish a mysterious 
link between Sri Jagannath and Krishna. 

Next in the aeries will be the Story of Rama. The Ramayana was written 
before the Mahabharata. For centuries characters of Rama and Sita have 
widely influenced the Indian mind. In fact, the Ramayana's stamp on the 
cultures of countries beyond India— on those of Indonesia. Siam and 
Kampuchea — is deep end profound. It is quite natural that our readers know 
much about the Ramayana. Even then it will be good to know the complete 
story, retold authentically, as originally told by the great Valmiki, our first 
poet. - • 

Uitamoh kleiaviksobham kjamah sotffum na kUarah 
Manireva mahaianagharsajuun na tu mftkanah 

It is only the best among men that can stand the attack of 
sorrows and suffering, not the ordinary people. It is only the 
gem which can stand the rubbing on a grindstone, not a clod of 

—The Subhasimramabhandagaram 

The Talking Chimp 

A 4-year old pygmy chimpanzee in Atlanta has 
shown remarkable capacity for understanding 
spoken English words. When he replies to 
questions, he does not really talk, but communi- 
cates by using geometric symbols representing 

The Largest Known Galaxy 
Scientists at the Kitt Peak National Observatory 
Arizona, U.S.A. say they have spotted a super- 
cluster of galaxies that is believed to be the 
largest known entity in space. The cluster of 
galaxies is spread over a distance of one billion 
light years, said Mr. Jack Burns, a University of 
New Mexico astronomer. A light year is almost 
six trillion miles. The largest supercluster pre- 
viously found was about 700-light year long and 
was reported in 1982 by Cornell University 

Talking Money] 

A new device, which assists the blind to deter- 
mine the value of money, is to be produced in 

The report said that if tests over the next few 
months are successful, the blind may be "hear- 
ing" money talk in English and French, Canada's 
official languages. 

The Oldest Mummy 

Some 8,000 years ago, there was a Chilean who 
commanded respect perhaps because he was a 
good hunter. When dead, he was made into a 
statue to be worshipped. 

Today, archaeologists have unearthed the fal- > 
len idol and restored some of his former status. 
They believe it is mankind's ' oldest known 

Why do-people make images of Gods and Goddesses in a manner as if 
they were human beings? 

— Anuradha and 15 classmates, 

We can find the answer in a passage from Swami Vivekananda: 

"By our present constitution we are limited and bound to see God as man. 
If, for instance, the buffaloes want to worship God, they will, in keeping with 
their own nature, see Him as a huge buffalo; if a fish wants to worship God, 
it will have to form an idea of Him as a big fish, and man has to think of Him 
as man. And these various conceptions are not due to morbidly active 
imagination, Man, the buffalo, and the fish, all may be supposed to represent 
so many different vessels, so to say. Ail these vessels go to the sea of God 
to get filled with water, each according to its own shape and capacity; in the 
man, the water takes the shape of man, in the buffalo, the shape of a buffalo, 
and in the fish, the shape of a fish. In each of these vessels there is the same 
water of the sea of God. When men see Him, they see Him as man, and the 
animals, if they have any conception of God at all, must see Him as animal, 
each according to its own ideal. So we cannot help seeing God as man, and, 
therefore, we are bound to worship Him as man. There is no other way." 

5PI?e Saga 9f SRI JfleflRRflJflB 

—By Uaaoj Das 

IStoty so far: King Indradyumna sent his emissaries to look lot some living Deity to adorn the 
temple he had built. One ot the emissaries. Vtdyapeti, met Lalfta. daughter of a tribal chief. 
Visvavasu. and married her. In Visvavasu s secret object of worship he felt the presence of 
Vishnu, He stole the object end brought it to the king at Pun. The king dreamt that e log will 
come floating in the see from which the image of the Deity was to be carved. He traced tfts tog, 
but it could not be brought ashore. They felt that it needed the touch of Visvavasu.) 

prom the the top of the moun- 
*tain the forest looked like 
rolling waves which had come to 
halt under some spell. The lush 
green trees covered a range of 
bilk not too high. Between the 
hills spread sleepy tribal ham- 
lets, the realm of Visvavasu. 

It had been a quiet realm 
always, and since the previous 

day it bad grown even more 
quiet. That was natural. Then- 
chief, Visvavasu, lay in swoon 
for most of the time. The chiefs 
daughter, Lalita, wept con- 

Nobody knew exactly what 
had happened. As usual, Visva- 
vasu had gone out of his house 
at dawn. But that day he re- 

turned soon, looking wild, pant- 
ing and sweating. "What has 
your husband done?" That was 
ail he could say, staring at Lalita 
at the foreyard of their house. 
Then he swooned away. 

At first stupefied, Lalita cried 
in her horror and sat down by 
her father's side. Others came 
nishing to the spot. They car- 
ried their chief into his room 
and .sprinkled water on his face. 
He recovered his senses, only to 
lose then again. 

Lalita had instinctively under- 
stood what had happened. She 
had always a feeling that 
although Vidyapati loved her 
deeply, his readiness to live with 

them in the forest was not en- 
tirely due to it. He was counting 
days for a chance to fulfil some 
other mission. Visvavasu's 
shock had only one meaning for 
Lalita: Vidyapati had escaped 
with their secret Deity for which 
he had evinced such keen in : 

The day passed and so did 
pass the night, without the 
father and the daughter 
touching food or going to sleep. 
The next morning Visvavasu 
walked towards the cave, in a 
daze, although he knew that the 
cave was empty. He was fol- 
lowed by his kinsmen. 

Inside the cave he grasped the 
stone upon which his Deity used 
to be there and he refused to 
budge. Hours passed. Those 
who accompanied him did not 
know what to do. 

And then sorheone came run- 
ning at noon and told them 
excitedly that he had sighted a 
parly of strangers atop the hill. 
The one who dominated the 
parly looked like a king. 

Soon another messenger re- 
ported of having sighted 
Vidyapati in the party. 

By then everybody had come 
to know, through whispers, the 
cause of Visvavasu's sorrow. 

"They have taken away our 
greatest possession. Are they 
not satisfied still and do they 
mean to plunder us? We will 
fight to the last man!" shouted a 
few voices. 

But as more reports began to 
arrive, it became clear that the 
king's party carried no arms. 
The king himself had already 
told some people that he was 
coming to greet Visvavasu. 

Visvavasu came out of the 
cave to receive the king, though 
he had not stopped weeping. 
The king, on sighting him, came 
running and embraced him. 

"Visvavasu, I am the thief, 
not your son-in-law. Pardon me 
and listen to me with kindness," 

said the king. He then narrated 
how he got the inspiration to 
construct a magnificent temple, 
how he had had the feeling thai 
somewhere, not far from Puri, 
there was a secret object of 
worship that must be gathered 
for the temple and how, of all 
his counsellors, Vidyapati atone 
had a feel for things divine. 

"Visvavasu, for generations 
the Lord had been gracious to 
your dynasty. Now it is the 
Lord's wish that He should be 
available to all the seekers. In 
any case, He does not wish to be 
seen by others in the same form 
as you and your forefathers saw 
Him. What you worshipped will 
be kept inside a new image that 

will be carved out of a block of 
log," said the king. He then told 
him how the log refused to come 
ashore and how he felt sure that 
it will come only if Visvavasu 
was there to receive it. The 
Lord knew in what a state of 
anguish his dear devotee, Visva- 
vasu, was. The work cannot go 
on unless Visvavasu decided to 
lend his support to it. 

Visvavasu heard the king with 
rapt attention. He was left in no 
doubt that what the king said 
was true. He sat silent for long. 
Then he stood up. "I am ready 
to follow you," he said. 

The king embraced him 
again, tears of joy and grateful- 

ness streaming down his cheeks. 

''My daughter, do not mis- 
understand your husband. It is 
only for a lofty cause that he 
kept certain things secret from 
you," the king told Lalita who 
bowed to him. 

"Lalita, 1 apologise to you. I 
will be back in no time and 
arrange for you to accompany 
me to Puri." Vidyapati said to 
Lalita who had not stopped 

It was evening when the king 
and his party, along with Visva- 
vasu, reached Puri. At once the 
king and Visvavasu set out into 
the sea in a boat. Lo and be- 
hold, as soon as they touched 
the floating log and gave it a 
push, it began moving towards 
the shore, dancing on the 
waves. Within minutes the jubi- 
lant crowd rolled it on to the 
sands and then it was carried to 
the castle. 

What form will the Deity 
take? That was the question to 
bother the king next. He sum- 
moned the kingdom's leading 
craftsmen. They said that they 
were in the habit of carving 
images out of stone — following 
some established designs. They 
were not sure of their crafts 
manship on a block of log, 

particularly when it concerned 
the image of a Deity. 

Before long an old man 
appeared before the king and 
claimed that he knew what to 
carve out of the log. He had 
been told in his dream that the 
Lord wished to be manifested as 
Krishna, along with his elder 
brother BaJabhadra and their 
sister, Subhadra. At no other 
shrine was to be seen this trin- 
ity. This will be the exclusive 
feature of this divinely inspired 

The old man's claim carried 
conviction. The king agreed to 
his taking up the work. 

But I have a condition, O 
noble King. I must be left alone 
with the log and my instru- 
ments. The door of the house 
inside which I will work must 
remain closed until I have 
opened it." said the strange 

"What about your food?" 
"I'll have it after my work is 
over," calmly stated the 

The minister of the king 
was not sure that the stranger's 
mind was quite sound. But the 
king, surprisingly, agreed to his 
condition without any hesita- 

The stranger was given 
house situated in the castle cam- 
pus. The faint sound of his 
instruments fashioning the 
wood could be heard if one 
pressed one's ear against the 
door. And Queen Gundicha 
Devi, the consort of King In- 
dradyumna, was never tired of 
doing that. Time and again, she 
would appear before the doors 
and listen to the sound and feel 
satisfied that the old craftsman 
went on with his work. 

But one day all seemed quiet 
inside ihe house. The queen 
grew anxious about the stran- 
ger's condition. And when the 
sound did not resume the next 

day or even the day after, she 
suspected that the old man who 
had deprived himself of food 
and drink, had died. She press- 
ed open the doors. 

The old man, busy with mak- 
ing the images, looked over his 
shoulder and then, in the twink- 
ling of an eye, vanished. He had 
left the images-incomplete. The 
images are to be found in the 
same shape -though from time 
to lime new images look place 
of the old — to this day. The 
craftsman, as all concerned real- 
ised afterwards, was none other 
than Visvakarma, the sculptor 
and architect of heaven. De- 
scendants of Vidyapati and Lali- 
ta arc among the chief priests of 

the temple. 

But were the images really 
incomplete? They appear so. 
They even appear strange to the 
ordinary eye, but devotees see 
in them indescribable beauty 
and divine grandeur. 

What Visvavasu worshipped 
was perhaps the sacred Relics of 
Krishna. The Relics are there 
hidden in the images. Ceremo- 
niously, though secretly, they 
have been transferred into the 
new images through the ages. 
Sri Jagannath, the Lord of the 
Universe, is one of the prime 
Deities for the devotees of Vish- 
nu and Puri has been a sacred 
place of pilgrimage since times 


She carried her anguish to her next life 

Dhishma, the heroic prince, 
*^had taken an oath not to 
marry. But he wanted his 
younger brother, Vichitravirya, 
to marry and continue the family 

Out in search of a bride, he 
learnt of three beautiful sisters, 
the daughters of the King of 
Kashi. He brought all the three 
girls by force to his palace for 
his brother to marry them. That 
was when their Swayamvara, or 
a function in which they- would 
have chosen their husbands 
from an assembly of princes, 
was being held. 

But the eldest of the three, 

Amba, told him that she had set 
her heart upon King Shalwa. 
She was about to garland him 
when the Swayamvara was dis- 

Bhishma respected her senti- 
ment. He sent her, with escorts, 
to King Shalwa. 

But a great shock awaited 
Amba. Shalwa refused to marry 
her. He had not been able to 
protect her from her abductors. 
If he accepted her now, it will be 
accepting a gift from his victo- 
rious adversary. That will be 
humiliating to him. 

The disappointed Amba re- 
turned to Bhishma. "You 

brought me by force, you must 
marry me," was her demand. 
Bhishma could not oblige her, 
for he was not prepared to 
break the oath he had taken. 

Great was Princess Amba's 
wrath against Bhishma. "You 
foiled my marriage with Shalwa. 
You are not prepared to marry 
me. I must avenge this double 
insult!" she said and she re- 
ported the matter to Sage Para- 
surama. Parasurama tried to 
persuade and then force Bhish- 
ma to marry her, but in vain. 

Amba plunged into penance 
and meditated on Shiva. The 
Lord gave her a boon as the 
result of which she, after her 
death, was born as the daughter 

of King Drupad. Her father 
treated her as if she was a boy. 
She learnt warfare well. On the 
eve of the Mahabharata war, 
she borrowed from a yaksha his 
manhood. When Arjuna fought 
Bhishma, she, by then known as 
Shikhandi, stood in front of 
Arjuna, shielding him. Bhishma 
was under the solemn oath not 
to apply his weapon on women. 
He stopped fighting at Shikhan- 
di's sight. Shikhandi discharged 
nine arrows and Bhishma fell. 
He was to breathe his last lying 
on a bed of arrows. 

All the while Shikhandi re- 
membered the shock of her 
previous life. She was at last 
satisfied that she had avenged 
her humiliation. 


¥ ong ago there lived a young 
■'-'man in a certain village. He 
was a sculptor. He sat on a hill 
and chiselled charming images 
out of boulders. 

One day, as he sat working, 
he saw a procession passing by 
the hill. It was formed of men 
who accompanied a prince. The 
prince sat on an elephant. Body- 
guards rode flanking the 
elephant. In front of the 
elephant walked musicians. Ser- 
vants and soldiers walked be- 
hind the elephant. 

"What a happy thing it is to 
become a prince!" he mumbled 
out to himself. Lo and behold! 

He had become the prince the 
very next moment. 

He was happy to find himself 
i n a luxurious seat on the 
elephant. So many people were 
ready to obey his command. He 
felt proud. But his pride melted 
away when a hot sun beat down 
upon him. "My God! How pow- 
erful the sun is! It humbles even 
a prince. I wish I were the sun!* 
he thought. 

Next moment he found him- 
self as the sun. He was very 
happy. He shone brightly, until 
a patch of cloud came between 
him and the earth and did not 


let his rays reach the earth. 

"I see! The cloud is more 
.powerful than the sun! I wish 1 
'were the cloud!" he said. 

Indeed, he became the cloud. 
I ft.- rained to his satisfaction and 
floated in the wide sky. He felt 
proud to see sand-dunes melting 
away, plants and trees bending 
down as he poured on. But 
when he came over a hill, he 
found it unaffected despite his 
raining heavily. 

"1 wish I were the hill!" he 
said. And he became the hill. 

He was very happy. He 
looked majestic. 

But soon a young man 
climbed the hill and began ham- 

mering and chiselling a stone. A 
beautiful face began to emerge 
out of the stone. 

"This young man is greater 
than the hill. What a hand he 
has — a hand that can bring 
such beauty out of hard stone!" 
he said. 

Next moment he found him- 
self to be the very young man 
that he was! He had just dozed 
off and dreamed for a moment. 

"God has made me man and I 
must do all I can with the 
strength and intelligence he has 
given me!" he told himself. He 
concentrated on bis work and in 
a few years became a famous 

Nursed back to 
health and cheer 
by the kindly Mr. 
Brownlow, Oliv- 
er goes on 
errand one day 
where he Is kid- 
napped by Dod- 
ger and Sikes, of 
Fagin'a glang. 
They drag him 
forcibly to where 
Fagin and Char- 
ley Betes, are. 

It's Oliver." said Fagin. emerging from 
the shadows. "Delighted to see you look- 
ing so well, my dear. And what a superfine 
cloth you are wearing. The Artful Dodger 
will give you another suit, for fear thai you 
should spoil that Sunday one. But why 
didn't you write, my dear, and say you 
were coming?" 

As Oliver stood there, trembling in front of 
Fagin. the Artful Dodger came forward and 
searched Oliver's pockets until ho produced 
the five pound note that Mr. Brownlow 
had given him. "Hello, what's this?" en- 
quired Sikes, stepping forward as Fagin 
seized the note, "That is mine Fagin". 
"No, my dear, said Fagin. "Mine Bill, 

"Please don't take it." Oliver cried, falling 
at Fagin's feet. "It belongs to the kind 
gentleman who took me in his house and 
nursed me when I was til. He gave it to me 
to pay for some books. Keep me here all 
my life, but return the money, or he'll think 
I stole it." Fagin replied; "He will think you 
stole it. So now he won't Stan asking 
questions about you. Dodger, show Oliver 
to bed!" 

E — F-3 

After he had kept Oliver in the house (or a 
week. Fagin set out with him one damp 
windy night. The road they travelled was 
thick with mud and a black mist hung over 
the streets. As he glided stealthily along, 
the hideous old man seemed like some 
fearful reptile crawling forth at night in 
search of food. 

About noon the next day when the Dodger 
and Charley Bates had gone out to pick 
pockets. Mr. Fagin took the opportunity of 
reading Oliver a long lecture on the sin of 
ingratitude, of which he cleariy demons- 
trated he had been guilty by willfuOy 
absemeeing himseff from the society of 
his anxious friends. This was followed by 
various dark threats that made Oliver's 
blood run cold. 

i here about the burglary you have in 
mind." Fagin said in law voice. "You 
need 9 boy. and I have the very one for 
you. With all the others I have, their looks 
icoovtct them " Sikes looked at Oliver for a 
long while. "He'll do very nicely." he said. 
He then picked up a pistol and proceeded 
to load It. Suddenly he put it to Oliver's 
head. "If you speak a word withot notice 
when you're out with me. I'll put this bullet 
in you." It was then that Oliver, nearly mad 
with terror, realised that he was being 
taken on a house-burglary expedition, 

Sikes led Oliver into (he darkness outside. 
For miles, it seemed to Oliver, he was 
dragged through street after street, until 
they came at last upon a solitary dwelling. 
The door yielded to Sikes' hand, and they 
were inside, where they found a man 
reposing on an old couch. 

"Meet Toby Crackit." Sikes said. "And 
this is young Oliver who is going to help 
us." Toby rose to his feet "Sit down by 
the fire. Oliver." he said. "Maybe wo 
should start off by celebrating what lies 
ahead cf us tonight with a drink." Toby 
then filled a wine glass. "Down with it, my 
young innocent boy.' 

A Folktale 


HThe king was on his death-bed. 

He looked lean and pale. He 
was neither too old nor affected 
by any deadly disease. Yet, he 
was unable to walk or eat. He 
could take only a little quantity 
of liquid food. 

Physicians from all parts of 
the kingdom were consulted, 
but they were unable to di- 
agnose the king's ailment. 

One day a wandering sage 
visited the palace. People told 
the queen that he could do what 
physicians could nol. 

The queen prostrated before 
him and wept. She begged the 
sage to save her dying husband. 

The sage consoled her and 
went with her to see the king. 
He examined him, and then 
meditated for a few minutes. 

"He is not affected by any 
disease," said the sage. "This 
should be the result of a curse. 
Has he any enemy?" 

"Enemy! Why! He has no 
friends at all!" said the queen. 
"He treated everyone with con- 
tempt. He didn't exempt me too 

from the list of his foes!" 

"And who do you think could 
have cursed him?" The sage 
shot his question. 

"Anyone or every one 
couJd have cursed himJ"said the 
queen. "To tell you the truth, 
my husband found harassing 
others great fun. Five years ago 
he announced that on every 
birthday of his the members of 
the nobility should be presented 
with a purse of one thousand 
silver coins, but in turn they 
must present him a purse of 
hundred gold coins. That will 
prove their capacity to change 
silver into gold!" 
After a pause she continued: 

"The nobility grudgingly re- 
sponded. On the birthdays of 
the king the nobility stood in 
long queues burdened with bags 
of gold. Now you may under- 
stand, Sir, the plight of the 
nobility who were losing their 
wealth year after year. Needless 
to say that they cursed the king. 
1 myself have heard them calling 
the king names. I have heard 
them tell one another: 'Can't 
someone kill the tyrant and 
make his birthday the day of his 
death — a day of joy?* How we 
struggle to save money for our 
future and this merciless fellow 
fills his treasury with our gold! 
Is Providence blind? I wish the 
king were beset with a killer 

The queen heaved a sigh and 

"The curse of the nobility has 
worked," concluded the sage. 
"The only way to save the king 
is to make the same people 
praise him. They should with- 
draw the curse and pray for his 
quick cure." 

"Why should they do so?" 
wondered the queen. 

"That is the question — and 
here is the answer." The sage 
whispered his solution into the 
queen's ear. 


The next day the queen proc- 
laimed that she would govern 
the country till the ailing king 
recovers his health. 

The nobility was immensely 
pleased to hear the news. They 
also heard that the queen was 
going to alter the custom of 
giving birthday presents! 

The much-awaited announce- 
ment was made at last. 

One morning a circular went 
to the nobility which said: "The 
queen hereby orders the nobil- 
ity to present her a bag of a 
thousand gold coins on every 
full-moon night. This practice 
will continue till the king has 
fully recovered" 

The nobility was shocked to 
hear the order. They cursed 
their own fate of having such a 
cruel-hearted woman for their 

"We got back at least a bag of 
silver coins when the king ruled. 
But now! My God! And tliat too 
every month ! " said one , ex- 
tremely dejected. 

Another murmured: "The 
king was noble at heart. He got 
a bag of gold and in turn gave us 
a bag of silver. This he did with 
the noble intention of making 
all of us work hard. But now we 
are ruined! 

"Suppose the king dies! O 
God! The situation is unimagin- 

able. The tyrant queen will turn 
into a tigress at heart," sneered 

"We should not let the king 
die. The only way to save the 
king is to pray to God for his 
quick recovery," said an old 
noble in the hall where they had 
all met to discuss the problem. 

The nobility of the whole 
country was engrossed in 

The king recovered from his 
ailment. Before he was back to 
the throne the queen told him 
what happened during his ill- 
ness. Further, she advised him 
to be kind towards all. 

"But aren't the noblemen of 

my court a pack of hounds? 
Don't they thrive on the wealth 
of poor people whom they ex- 
ploit?" asked the king. 

"Right, my lord. You' must 
stop their doing that. You must 
make good rules to govern all," 
advised the queen. 

The king who remained so far 
stone-deaf to all her pleadings, 
now accepted her advice, for, he 
felt grateful to her. He ex- 
empted the nobility from sub- 
mitting the birthday gift, but, at 
the same time, made rules that 
would prevent their exploiting 
the poor. 

—Retold by P, Raja 

A sif needed a donkey to cany 
**oli his business. He went to 
the weekly markets where anim- 
als were sold and looked for a 
good donkey. After examining a 
number ot donkeys, he bought a 
handsome beast with a white 
spot on its forehead. 

"This was the best donkey in 
the market," said several voices 
as Asif marched out of the 
market, dragging his donkey 

A loafer who too knew that 
the donkey Asif bought was the 
finest one in the market, did not 
stop at merely appreciating it. 

He followed Asif as quietly as 
possible ,jwith another loafer, 



his friend. Along the lonely 
road, he tiptoed behind Asif 
and unfastened the donkey. 
While his friend took hold of the 
donkey, he tied the rope around 
his own neck and walked on, 
stooping low. 

"Good God, I had never seen 
a man being pulled liked this!" a 
traveller coming from the oppo- 
site direction remarked. ITiat 
made Asif look back and what 
should he see but a human being 
in place of his donkeyl 

"What is this?" he stopped, 

"You're surprised, aren't 
you? It happened like this. Get- 
ting drunk, I beat up my mother 
last week. In great anguish she 
cursed me and that changed me 
into a donkey. Just now, I'm 
sure, she repented for casting 
the curse on me and prayed to 
Allah to come to my rescue. 
Her prayer is granted and I'm a 
man again!" said the loafer. 

"What an astonishing thing to 
happen! Never in my life had I 
seen a donkey changing into a 
man!" said Asif. He set the 
loafer free and gave him a bit of 
good advice: "You must not be 
harsh towards your mother, 

"I will obey you, Sir, and 
thanks a lot for your kindness!" 
The loafer disappeared in no 

Asif was back in the market 
the next week, for he must have 
a donkey after all! 

As he went looking for a good 
beast, his eyes fell on the donk- 

ey he had bought and lost the 
previous week. He observed it 
for a while. The donkey nodded 
looking at him. Asif went closer 
and whispered to it, "I under- 
stand, you were naughty once 
again and your mother's curse 
turned you into a donkey. I also 
understand that you'll like me to 
buy you and set you free! But, 
you see, my friend, I cannot go 
on spending on you to no profit! 
I'm 8007!" 

Asif walked away, murmur- 
ing to himself, "Whoever had 
seen a fellow who should be- 
come a donkey not once but 


I/ing Dharampal, lying on his 
*"death-bed, summoned his 
only son, Prince Pulakesh. 

"My son," he said, "before I 
leave this world, I want to tell 
you of a family secret which has 
been coming down for the past 
ten generations. It is about the 
deity, Dharmadevi. She dwells 
in a small temple in the eastern 
part of the forest. Whenever 
you have any problem regarding 
the kingdom, go to her and take 
her advice and follow it. She has 
kept our kingdom safe and pros- 
perous for centuries." 

A few weeks later, the king 
died and Prince Pulakesh was 
made the king. He ruled the 
kingdom with justice and soon 
.came to be loved by his people. 

A few years passed smoothly. 

One day, King Pulakesh 
faced a grave problem. His 
daughter Malini had fallen in 
love with the son of a subordin- 
ate ruler. She wanted to marry 
him, but her father did not like 
the proposal. The tradition was 
that the daughters of the dynas- 
ty were given in marriage only 
to princes of equally famous 
ruling families. At the same 
time, if King Pulakesh refused 
his permission then he would be 
hurting the feelings of Malini. 
So, unable to decide what to do, 
he went to seek the advice of 

As he sat praying, the image 
of the deity grew luminous. He 
heard a voice, though not audi- 


ble, "What are you first — a 
father or a king?" 

"I was a father even before I 
became a king," replied King 
Pulakesh. He understood what 
the deity indicated — and re- 
turned satisfied. 

Malini was happily given in 
marriage to the prince with 
whom she had fallen in love. 
The nobility and the people 
appreciated the king's decision. 

Hardly a year had passed 
when another serious problem 
arose and King Pulakesh had to 
seek the deity's advice. His 
young son Devamitra, while 
practising sword -fighting, in- 
jured, by accident, the right 

hand of his friend. The father of 
the injured boy approached the 
king and asked for justice. "As 
your son has cut my son's 
hand, I want you to permit me 
to cut his hand," said the 
agitated father. 

King Pulakesh did not know 
what to say. He asked for a 
day's time before he could give 
his judgment. 

He asked the deity for a 
solution. "I have to uphold the 
rule of justice. But can I allow 
the future king's hand to be 

"You have to maintain the 
justice at any cost," said Dhar- 
madevi. "You can tell the man 
that as your son made a deep cut 
in the right hand of his friend, 
let the friend do the same with 
his right hand to your son." 

The king announced the judg- 
ment next day. The accuser felt 
helpless, and yet, he saw sense 
in the king's judgment. He left 
the court quietly, because his 
son was in no position to weild a 

And again months passed 
without any problem. 

One day, a neighbouring king 
visited King Pulakesh and 
stayed back as the king's guest 
for one week. During one of the 


after-dinner entertainments, 
both the kings played a game of 


"The game will become more 
interesting if we put a bet," said 
the guest-king. "What will be 
the bet?" 

"I pledge my ring," said King 

"Being kings we should 
pledge something bigger and 
greater. I pledge my kingdom. 
Do you have the courage to do 
so?" asked the guest-king. 

It was a question of honour 
and King Pulakesh accepted the 

Unfortunately, King 
Pulakesh lost the game and he 

declared, "As I have lost the 
game, I have lost my kingdom 
to you.*' 

"My dear King! I did not 
really mean to lose my kingdom 
or gain yours. Please keep your 
kingdom to yourself!" said the 

"No, I have put the bet in all 
seriousness. So, you must own 
my kingdom." 

There was ah argument be- 
tween the two kings. King 
Pulakesh decided to seek Dbar- 
madevi's advice. 

Dharmadevi heard about the 
bet and then said, "King 
Pulakesh, you have no right to 
give away your kingdom, be- 

■■ p Jill 1 

iff \ 


cause it belongs not to you but 
to the people. You are only Us 
custodian and not its owner. A 
kingdom is like a temple. A 
temple belongs to the deity, not 
to its builder." 

The king returned to the palace. 
The very next day he crowned 
his son as the king. He passed 
on the secret of Dharmadevi to 

his son and taking him along 
with him he went to the goddess 
to ask for forgiveness. 

Thereafter he spent his days 
like a hermit in the forest. He 
knew that he had forfeited the 
right to rule a kingdom once he 
had taken part in a kind of 


r^-*Nature's Kingdom 


After dark, a farmyard raldar go*a on the 

prowl In North Amarica. 

WHEN night tails, the North American racoon 
sets off in search of Its dinner. Racoons, 
close relatives ol the bear, are hunters of small 
birds, rats and frogs. They are also fond of all 
kinds ol birds' eggs, and often thrust their long 
front paws into the holes of trees to take eggs 
from woodpeckers' nests. If there are no wild 
birds about, they will raid poultry farms to steal 
eggs and chickens. But at the slightest hint ol 
danger, the racoon rushes up the nearest tree, 
climbing at an amazing "speed with its long, 
sharp claws. 

An adult racoon is about a metre long 
(including its tail). It was once the commonest 
ot animals in America and could be found from 
Canada to Mexico. Then the frontiersmen 
relentlessly hunted it for its fur. 

Until quite recently, the racoon was the most 
important fur-bearing animal in North America. 
Less than a century ago, much of the buying 
and selling in the Mississippi Valley was done 
by using racoon skins instead of money. 

The racoon makes ils home high in the 
hollow ol a large tree. Sometimes it chooses a 
hollow log on the ground, or it may even take 
over a burrow mads by some other animal. 

Despite the fact that its feet are thin and have 
no webs, the racoon is an expert swimmer and 
can dive Into rivers at lightning speed to catch 
fish under water, grabbing them with its fore- 

Whatever It has caught, the racoon always 
carries it to the nearest tree, where It sits up 
with its back to the trunk. It holds its meat 
between its hind paws, picking off pieces and / 
carrying them to Its mouth wfth its front paws 
It always washes its food In 3 river or stream 
before eating It. even doing this with the fish it 

The female racoon has a litter of five or six 
young which are bom in the spring. As soon as 
they are able to walk and climb, the young go 
hunting at night with their parenis. When they 

In the autumn, the racoon looks lor a really 
comfortable home and. immediately winter 
sets in, it hibernates. There it remains until the 
warm weather awakens it from its long sleep. 

There is a larger species of racoon native to 
South America. It has exceptionally powerful 
teeth. It uses these for crunching up the crabs 
which it catches and eats, it is called the 
crab-eating racoon to distinguish it from its 
North American relative. 

North American racoons are becoming rare. 
With their taste for farmyard eggs, poultry and 
vegetables, the reduction in their numbers may 
be considered, by the American farmer at least. 

T ong long ago there was a 
^dense forest near the city of 
Varanasi. Travellers who cros- 
sed the forest or wood-cutters 
who braved into it could see, 
once in a while, a strange 
peacock. It was dazzlingly gol- 
den. Unlike the ordinary 
peacock, it had a very sweet 

, The report of the strange 
peacock reached the queen of 
Varanasi. She grew a strong 
desire to see it. "Can't you get 
me the golden peacock?" she 
asked the long. 

"You'll have it before long," 
said the king with a smile of 
confidence, He summoned the 
best hunters of his kingdom. 
"Get me the golden peacock 
and you will be amply re- 
warded," he told them. 

The hunters fanned out into 
the forest, but, even though 
sometimes they had a glimpse of 
the peacock, they could not trap 
it. Months passed. 

The queen, yearning for the 
peacock, lost her peace of mind. 
She dreamt of the peacock time 
and again and fell sick. 

'Get me the peacock even if 
you*re to kill it!" ordered the 
king. Hunters grew active again. 
Months rolled away; the 
queen's sickness grew severe. 
But the hunters brought no re* 
port of success. At last, still 
yearning to possess the peacock, 
the queen breathed her last. 

The king felt extremely sorry 
that he could not satisfy the 
queen's desire. His wrath fell on 
the peacock. Before his own 
death, he left this message for 
his subjects: 

"In the forest lives a golden 
peacock. One who would eat its 
flesh will become immortal and 
his body wilt grow luminous!" 

So many people went into the 

forest and tried to capture the 
golden peacock. Some of them 
lost their lives to ferocious 
animals, some returned dishear- 
tened at their failure. 

The prince who ascended the 
throne was determined to cap- 
ture the peacock. He camped in 
the forest for months and, after 
long efforts, one day trapped 
the peacock. 

He returned to the palace 
with the peacock. He marvelled 
at the bird's splendours. 

"Prince, what do you propose 
to do with me?" asked the 

The prince, surprised at the 
bird's speech, said, "Well, I will 
like to eat your flesh, That will 

make me immortal." 

The peacock laughed. 

"Why do you laugh?" asked 
the prince. 

"My dear prince, I am mortal 
myself. The fact that you will 
kill me, proves that I am not 
above death. How then can you 
become immortal by eating a 
mortal?" asked the peacock. 

The prince had no answer to 
this. But he said, "1 can at least 
become luminous like you by 
eating your flesh!" 

The peacock laughed once 
again and said, "Do you imbibe 
the colour of anything you eat? 
Do you become yellow when 
you eat a ripe mango? My dear 
prince, my colour is due to the 
pious life I had when 1 was a 
king. That was long ago." 

"Were you once a king?" 
"Yes, and a king of Varanasi 

"Can you prove this to be 
true?" asked the curious prince. 

" D ig at the northern-most 
corner of your garden. I buried 
there a bejewelled chariot that 
was mine.'" said the peacock. 

The prince dug the ground 
and found the chariot. He stood 
speechless for long. Then he 
bowed down to the peacock and 
requested him to stay with him. 

The peacock lived in the royal 
garden and helped the king to 
lead a righteous life. The 
peacock was none other than 
the Bodhisattva — the soul that 
was to be bom as Gautama 

—From the Buddha Jatakas. 



l/ing Nagaraj was not only old 
**but he had lost his health and 
capacity to rule. Added to his 
ill-health were his worries re- 
garding the chaotic state of his 
kingdom. Corruption and law- 
lessness had become wide- 

Taking advantage of the 
situation, the neighbouring king 
was planning to attack King 
Nagaraj's kingdom. 

"I don't know what to do. I 
cannot rule the kingdom any 
longer," the king said again and 

Prince Jaydeep had been to a 
far away country for his educa- 
tion. Having finished it he had 
just returned home. 

One day, the chief minister 
advised the king, "Maharaj, 
now that our prince is back, we 
should make him the king and 
shift all your responsibilities to 

him. I'm sure he'll be able to 
bring order and discipline in our 

. The king, however, was hesi 
tant. He was not sure if his son ; 
without any experience, will be 
able to steer his kingdom out of 
its present problems. After 
much thought, he finally de- 
cided to test his son's capacity to 
become a king. 

The king summoned the 
prince and said, "My son, you 
know all about the sorry state of 
affairs in our kingdom. What do 
you suggest should be done to 
improve the situation?" 

"Father," replied the prince, 
"the first thing to be done is to 
safeguard our kingdom from the 
neighbouring king who is pre- 
paring to attack us any time 

"But, aren't the dangers with- 
in our own kingdom greater 


than the threats from outside? 
Should we not look to our prob- 
lems at home first?" asked the 

I*m well aware of the situa- 
tion at home. True, there are 
thefts and robberies, but the 
wealth of the kingdom at least 
stays in and does not go out. 
One day, we could round up the 
thieves and return the stolen 
property to the owners. But, if 
we lose our kingdom to the 
enemy, then, we will not only 
lose all our wealth but also the 
kingdom! Hence, you should 
concentrate on fortifying our 
castte and strengthening our 
army," said Prince Jaydeep. 

The king was happy listening 
to his son. He immediately 
issued orders that the main entr- 
ances into the castle should be 
doubly secured and streng- 

The minister in charge of 
security made an estimate and 
reported to the king, "The forti- 
fication of the castle would cost 
us a fortune which we cannot 
afford at the moment." 

Just then the commander of 
the army entered the court and 
said, "Maharaj, I have found a 
way to fill up our treasury. Two 
of my spies have reported of a 
yogi who has strange powers. 
He can see the hidden or buried 
wealth. Many of our people 
have been benefited by his pow- 
ers. Perhaps, we too could ask 
him and see if we can find some 
bidden wealth!" 

As the king was very anxious 
to find a solution to the financial 
problem of his kingdom, he 
asked, "Where does the yogi 
live? I would like to see him 

The commander led him to 
the yogi's camp. 

When the king told the yogi 
about his problems, the yogi 
concentrated for a while and 
then, opening his eyes, said. 

"Your Highness, you need not 
fear any foreign invasion in the 
near future. There is no such 
danger. Regarding the question 
of hidden wealth, you are very 
fortunate, O King! Under the 
main gateway of the castle there 
are at least a hundred pots of 
coins. Demolish the gateway 
and discover them!" The king 
returned to his palace and with 
great joy told his son what he 
had just learnt from the yogi. 

"Father, even if what the yogi 
has said is true, it would be most 
unwise to demolish the gateway 
of the castle at this moment 
when our enemies are waiting 
for an opportunity to attack us. 
Regarding the treasure, why 
should it be located under the 
gateway alone! Is there no 
wealth in any other part of our 
kingdom? How very strange! 
Father, I request you to give me 
one week's time before you take 
your final decision in the 

The king saw reason in his 
son's stand and granted him his 

That evening. Prince Jaydeep 
called secretly the court jester 
and told him about his plans. 
Accordingly, the jester went to 
the yogi and with a sorrowful 

face, said, "Swamiji, I have 
heard great praises about your 
powers. I am in an urgent need 
of a thousand silver coins which 
alone can enable me to perform 
my daughter's marriage and also 
save my wife's life. I implore 
you to help me..." 

The yogi opened his eyes and 
said, "Now it is evening, and I 
do -not grant any requests after 
sunset. Come tomorrow and I 
shall help you..." 

When it was all dark and most 
of the people had retired, Prince 
Jaydeep and the jester hid 
themselves near the house of 
the jester. Soon, two men came 
stealthily and started digging 

under a mango tree. The prince, 
to his surprise, saw that the two 
men were the two spies who had 
accompanied the commander to 
the court. 

As soon as the two men left, 
the prince asked the jester to dig 
under the mango tree. They 
found a buried pot full of silver 
coins. They were two thousand! 

Next morning, when the jes- 
ter returned to the yogi, he said, 
"You fool, why do you worry 
for a mere thousand coins when 
you have two thousand with 
you? Go back and dig under the 
mango tree that is at the back of 
your house. You shall find more 
than what you need!" 

The jester reported the mat- 
ter to the prince. Then, both of 
them went to the king and told 
about all that happened in the 
last twenty-four hours. "I'm 
convinced that the yogi is none 
but a spy of our enemy king, 
And, the commander is hand in 
glove with him. They should be 
punished immediately ," said the 
agitated prince. 

The king was still unwilling to 
suspect his commander. "I be- 
lieve in what all you have said, 
But, the commander has been 
extremely loyal to me and it is 
difficult for me to believe that 
he is plotting against me," said 
the king. 

"In that case, let us disguise 
ourselves and hide near the 
residence of the yogi. You'll see 
for yourself the nature of your 
loyal commander!" 

That night the king, the 
prince and ten strong armed 
soldiers hid near the yogi's 
house. Towards midnight, they 
were shocked to see the com- 
mander of the army and the two 
spies entering the room of the 

"Commander, have I per- 
formed my role all right?" asked 
the yogi, gleefully. 

"Yes, dear friend. Our game 

has paid off and soon we shall 
be amply rewarded by your 
noble king. This morning the 
jester found the silver coins 
under the mango tree and as we 
had planned, it has confirmed 
the king's faith in you. In any 
case, we won't be required to 
play this game for long. Ha! 

And everyone in the room 
laughed and laughed. 
But, not for long. 

Hardly had their laughter 
stopped when the soldiers burst 
into the room and pounced 

upon the gang of four. 

They were thrown into gaol. 

Next day, King Nagaraj cal- 
led his chief minister and said, 
"Arrange for the coronation of 
my son. He is indeed wise and I 
am convinced that he will be 
able to pilot well my kingdom, 
even though he has to pass in 
the beginning through rough 

Prince Jaydeep fulfilled his 
father's wishes when he became 
the king. Soon, there was order 
and discipline in the people and 
the old king died happy and 




Vir Mishra was an astrologer. He could read horoscopes and, 
what is more, could locate lost or stolen goods. He charged two 
rupees for his service from each client. This was fifty years ago. 

One day Mishra was returning home from a distant village. 
He lay down on the verandah of a rest-house. His umbrella was 
lying near him. 

When he woke up after his nap, his umbrella was missing. He 
went to the manager of the rest house and complained about it. 

"Sir, you are a renowned astrologer. Why don't you try to 
locate the lost umbrella through your calculation?" asked the 

"Look here, young man, I charge two rupees for any such 
calculation. My old umbrella is worth one rupee only. Who will 
pay me my fee? Will you pay it?" asked Mishra haughtily. 

Htw Talts of Kfttf 
Vltowi and the Vampire 



r\ark was the night and weird 
^the atmosphere. It rained 
from time to time. At intervals 
of thunderclaps and moaning of 
jackals could be heard the eerie 
laughter of spirits. Flashes of 
lightning showed fearful faces. 

But King Vikram swerved 
not. He returned to the ancient 
tree once again and brought the 
corpse down. However, as soon 
as he began crossing the deso- 
late cremation ground with the 
corpse lying on his shoulder, the 
vampire that possessed the 
corpse said, "O King, are you 
sure that somebody is not plan- 
ning to get some work done by 
you and then to discard you? 
You should guard yourself 
against such possibilities. Let 
me give you an example to 
illustrate my point. Pay atten- 
tion to my story. That might 
bring you some relief." 

The vampire went on: Bhim- 
pu, the tantrik, had just crossed 
into the kingdom of Vidyapuri, 
after creating panic in the neigh- 

bouring state. He was capable 
of putting an end to anybody's 
life or could reduce a whole 
village to ashes by his power of 
black magic. 

Entering Vidyapuri, he sat 
relaxing under a banyan tree. It 
was noon, the time when he 
performed some magic rite. As 
he finished with it and got up, 
he saw a stranger coming to- 
wards him. From the stranger's 
dress it was obvious that he too 
was a tantrik. 

Do you happen to be Bhim- 
pu?" asked the stranger, in a 
tone that was not particularly 

Yes, indeed, I'm Bhimpu- 

var, the greatest tantrik in the 
world. Who are you?" asked 
Bhimpu, rather annoyed. 

The stranger laughed. "Ha 
ven't you heard of Purnachan- 
dra, who too could claim to be 
the greatest tantrik in the 
world? Well, your guru, 
Vichakshan, was my friend. I'm 
sure, you have managed to get 
hold of Vichakshan's talisman 
by which you can do miracles. 
Very well. But why are you 
here?" asked the stranger. 

Bhimpu gave a start. He 
looked at the talisman hanging 
from his neck. His movement 
brought a smile to the stranger's 

Bhimpu had heard much of 
Purnachandra, who was a great 
friend of his guru. It was not 
possible to hide from Pur- 
nachandra the fact that he had 
grown powerful by the virtue of 
bis guru's talisman. He was 
under the impression that Pur- 
nachandra was dead. He was 
not happy to find him alive! 

"Why? Is it forbidden for me 
to come here? But I thought 
that you were no more!" said 

"Yes, I had spread the 
rumour about my death deliber- 
ately. I did not wish anybody to 

look for me or disturb me while 
I was absorbed in mustering 
some new powers," said the 
stranger. "Well," he then asked 
Bhimpu, "how much power do 
you have? What can you do?" 

"Better ask me what I cannot 
do! I can do anything I wish to 
do. I can burn down a locality!" 

"Really? If that is true, I must 
admit that you are a worthy 
disciple of my friend Vichak- 
shan. But can you really burn 
down a locality?" 

"Why a locality? I can even 
destroy all the green fields and 
vegetation in the whole 

"For your information, I can 
restore the vegetation and crops 

to life in no time," quietly said 
the stranger. 

"So what? I can destroy them 
once again. I can make the river 
swell with flood and bring about 
a deluge!" 

"Impressive indeed! But can 
you bring down rains at will?" 
asked the stranger. 

"Of course, I can!" 

"I see!" the stranger said 
thoughtfully, "Let me be frank 
with you. It is not proper for 
two powerful tantriks to live in 
one kingdom at the same time. 
We should avoid unnecessary 
rivalry. U you will give me a 
proof of your power, I will leave 
this land, after advising the king 
that he should honour you!" 

Bhimpu's face brightened up. 
He wished Purnachandra to 
leave Vidyapuri as soon as pos- 
sible. People will not be much 
impressed by him if another 
powerful tantrik was present 
amidst them. 

What proof do you want?" 
he asked. 

'Follow me! "said the stran- 
ger. He led him to a rocky place 
and said, "Come on, let me see 
you bring down rains!" 

Bhimpu put his left hand on 
the talisman and waved his right 
hand in a circle looking at the 
sky. In a few minutes clouds 
began to gather. In half an hour 
it rained. Bhimpu and the stran- 
ger took shelter in a deserted 


It rained heavily for an hour. 
"Now, I can stop rains, but I 
should not apply my power on 
your action. That will be like 
contesting you." 

Bhimpu laughed and said, 
"You're very clever! You are 
not yet convinced of my power. 
You want to see whether I can 
stop the rains or not! Look 

Bhimpu touched the talisman 
once again and muttered some 
hymn. It stopped raining. 

"Fine. Come, let us visit the 
king's palace. It is not far," 
suggested the stranger. 

"Why? How do I care for 

"Listen to me, Bhimpu, the 
king thinks that I am the only 
tantrik of any worth. That is 
why he is not willing to let me go 
on a pilgrimage to the temple of 
Goddess Kamaksha, the presid- 
ing deity of Tantra. Once he 
comes to know you, he will 
understand that there is at least 
one other great tantrik in the 
world. Besides, who can honour 
you but the king?" said the 
Bhimpu nodded. 
Both reached the palace. The 
princess lay sick for long. Physi- 
cians had failed to cure her. The 
stranger led Bhimpu into the 
apartment of the princess. He 
cured the princess in no time. 

The stranger then escorted 
Bhimpu to the king's presence. 

"Bhimpu, can you read 
others' minds?" asked the 

The question was unex- 
pected. Bhimpu, a bit surprised, 
i, "Yes, I can, if I try to." 
'Why don't you try to under- 
stand what is in my mind just 

Bhimpu kept one hand on his 
talisman and closed his eyes. 
Suddenly his face grew red. 
When he opened his eyes, they 
seemed to be giving out sparks 

of fire. "You rogue! You are not 
Tantrik Purnachandra. Your 
only motive is to get rid of me. 
You ..." 

Bhimpu put his hand once 
again on the talisman. But be- 
fore he had said anything more, 
four court guards pounced on 
him and the stranger himself 
stepped forward and snatched 
the talisman from Bhimpu's 

"You fool! What can you do 
with that talisman? Do you 
think- that it will work without 
mantra?" shouted out Bhimpu. 

"It need not work!" said the 
stranger. He then dashed it to 
the ground. It got shattered. 


"Throw this fellow out of our 
kingdom!" ordered the king. He 
said sternly, looking at Bhimpu, 
"You shall be put to death if you 
try to enter our kingdom again!" 

The guards dragged Bhimpu 

The vampire fell silent. After 
a moment he asked in a chal- 
lenging tone, "O King, why was 
such injustice done to Bhimpu? 
He brought rain to a region 
where it was most needed. He 
cured the sick princess. Instead 
of rewarding him for his good 
deeds, how could the king order 
his expulsion from the king- 
dom? Who was that stranger? 
Why did he destroy Bhimpu 's 
talisman? Answer me, O King, 
if you can. Should you keep 
mum despite your knowledge of 
the answer, your head would 
roll off your neck." 

King Vikram replied forth- 

with: "The stranger was none 
other than the king's minister in 
disguise . The king's and the 
minister's conduct towards 
Bhimpu was dictated by their 
concern for their kingdom. It is 
true that Bhimpu did something 
good, but that was not because 
he was inclined to do good. The 
minister, through his cleverness, 
made him do these things. The 
king and the minister knew what 
he had done in the neighbouring 
kingdom. Left to himself, Bhim- 
pu would do more harm than 
good. The minister knew that 
Bhimpu's source of strength was 
the talisman. He destroyed it, 
because he could not have put it 
to any use. At the same time 
Bhimpu has to be deprived of 

No sooner had the king con- 
cluded his answer than the vam- 
pire, along with the corpse, gave 
him the slip. 

Ourendra was a handsome 
^ young businessman. When 
he brought home his charming 
wife, Anjali, his father Virendra 
called her one day and advised, 
"Listen, Anjali, Sitaben, your 
mother-in-law, is a bit short- 
tempered. I would like you to 
do whatever she asks you to 
do — otherwise there may be 
great disharmony at home. 
Take it as my advice and my 
request to you." 

"Surely, Father, I shall follow 
your advice," said the shy bride. 

As days passed, Anjali learnt 
the ways of her husband's family 
and worked hard to maintain 
peace in the house. She showed 
immense tolerance and patience 
toward her mother-in-law. She 
tried her best to follow her 

One day Anjali got Late in 

returning home, fetching water 
from the well. Sitaben became 
angry and shouted at her: "If 
you take all the time in fetching 
water, when will you finish 
cleaning the vessels?" 

Anjali was unnerved at her 
anger and her hands trembled. . . 
And she dropped the vessel. It 
got badly damaged. 

Just as Sitaben was about to 
shout at her again, Virendra, 
who was watching them from 
the verandah, came out and t.oid 
Sitaben, "Don't you see the girl 
trembling in fear of you? Do not 
scold her anymore!" 

Another day, Anjali took out 
the bottle of ghee and was about 
to serve her father-in-law when 
Sitaben said angrily, "Foolish 
girl! Don't you know that you 
should first heat up the ghee 
before serving it?" 


Anjali again trembled in fear 
and her unsteady band dropped 
the bottle! 

"Oh God! My ghee! That was 
the costliest ghee in the mar- 
ket!" wailed Sitabcn. Then she 
began shouting at her. But 
Virendra took pity on Anjali 
and asked his wife to control her 

A few days later, Anjali was 
pulling out a bucket of water 
from the well. Suddenly, 
Sitaben appeared behind her 
and shouted: "Have you forgot- 
ten the cooking pot on the 
oven? What a stupid girl are 
you, Anjali!" 

And once again, out of fear, 

Anjali dropped the bucket into 
the well. Virendra, lowering a 
hook into the well, brought out 
the bucket. 

Every day, something or the 
other happened and there was 
something or the other that was 
broken or damaged. Not only 
was Sitaben at the end of her 
wits but Virendra too got 
annoyed with Anjali. One day 
he called her up and admo- 
nished, "Anjali, what is this 
happening in the house? Must 
you go on smashing things at 
this rate? Can't you control 

"Father, it is not that T can't 
control myself. I can. But, when 
someone scolds me I get un- 
nerved and then I can't control 
my hands. They start trembling 
and I drop whatever I'm 

Virendra advised his wife, 
"Enough has been damaged at 
home. It is better that you 
control your anger or we will 
run a household of all broken 

Of course, Sitaben did not 
like her husband advising her in 
front of the daughter-in-law and 
in a fit of anger, she quit the 

A couple of days later, a 

neighbour visited Sitaben. As 
they were busy talking, AnjaJi 
was asked to prepare coffee for 
them. Unfortunately, there was 
some delay in preparing it. 
When she entered the room 
where her mother-in-law was 
chatting with her friend, Sitaben 
again lost her temper and said, 
"Anjali, you're really incorrigi- 
ble! Can't you even..." 

And there fell the tray with 
the cups of coffee! 

Sister," said Sitaben, "I'm 
really fed up with, my daughter- 
in-law! I don't know what to do 
with her. No amount of scolding 
has taught her any manners!" 

"I understand you, Sitaben. 
But, you see, when a daughter- 
in-law goes to a new house, she 
is very nervous and timid. So it 
is the mother-in-law who has to 
be patient and loving. The only 

way to save your things in fact is 
to stop shouting at Anjali and to 
treat her with love and under- 
standing," explained the neigh- 

Sitaben nodded. Slowly, with- 
in a few weeks, she calmed 
down. She showed great pati- 
ence and tolerance in her deal- 
ings with Anjali as well as every- 
one else at home. Virendra was 
happy at heart that Anjali suc- 
ceeded in changing his wife. 

And of course, Surendra was 
most happy because his and 
Anjati's plan to teach a lesson to 
Sitaben had succeeded beyond 
their expectation. "When we 
look at the gain — change in 
Sitaben's nature and peace at 
home — the price paid was not so 
high. A few household utensils 
broken, that is all!" said Suren- 
dra to his wife. 

*T*he king had contacted a 

strange skin disease. There 
were white patches all over his 
body and he could not come to 
the court and face his courtiers. 

All the famous physicians of 
his kingdom took their turn in 
trying to cure the king, but in 
vain. The king was at first very 
angry with them, but later he 
thought that the disease was 
incurable, and tat e was fated to 
live with it. 

After a few months, the com- 
mon people also came to know 
of the strange disease. 

There was in the kingdom, a 
poor physician, named Vijayva- 
nu who gathered all the infor- 
Imation regarding the king's dis- 
jease. He then went through all 
his books on medicine and ulti- 
mately prepared a lotion which 
he wanted try on the king. 
He came to the capital and met 

the Court-Physician. Because, \ 
according to the custom, no 
physician could treat the king 
without the Court-Phyvicin's 

The Court Physician gave 
him a hearing, but he looked 
unhappy. He realised that the 
lotion that Vijayvanu had pre- 
pared had good chances of cur- 
ing the, king and he thought, "If 
this fellow succeeds in curing 
the king, who knows, if the king 
will not make him the Court 

"We spent fifteen years at the 
gurukul studying all the ancient 
books on medicine. And still, 
we have not been able to cure 
the king's disease. How can 
you, a rustic quack dream of 
curing the king? Moreover, if 
we allow you to treat the king, 
and if anything goes wrong, 
we'll be held responsible. So, 

good-bye. Do not think of ever 
coming back!" 

Vijayvanu returned home, 
but all the while he thought of 
the king and the disease. Once 
every week he went to the 
palace with a hope of getting 
permission to see the king. But, 
each time he was insulted and 
sent away. 

One day, as he was returning 
home, he saw on the verandah 
of a rest-house, a mendicant 
who suffered from the very skin- 
disease with which the king was 
afflicted. Vijayvanu was happy 
that he could use the medicine 
he had prepared at least on 
someone. He took the beggar to 
his house and gave him the 

At the end of three weeks, 
the beggar was cured of his 
disease and was back in the 

One day, as the king was 
passing by the rest house, he 
saw the beggar and asked his 
bodyguard, "Is he not the same 
person who was suffering from a 
skin disease?" 

Yes my lord, he is the same 
beggar," replied the. bodyguard. 
The beggar was called. 
"Who has cured you of your 
kin-disease?" asked the king. 

The beggar told the king 
about Vijayavanu. 

That same evening, the king 
disguised himself as a merchant 
and went to sec Vijayvanu. The 
physician gave the king his lo- 
tion to be applied on the skin. 
Every evening the king came in 
disguise and took the treatment, 

On the thirtieth day the king 
was completely cured of his 
disease. He thanked the physi- 
cian and gave him a bag of gold 
coins in gratitude. 

"I am happy to have cured 
you, but what a pity that I 
cannot cure our king of the 
same disease!" Vijayvanu said 
with a sigh. 

"Why? What stof s you from 
curing the king?" asked the 
king, very curious. 

Vijayvanu explained to the 
king all that happened when he 
went to the palace and the 
treatment he received from the 
Court Physician. 

The king felt sad at heart. 
"The Court Physician is worried 
more about his own position 
than my health," he said to 
himself. "There is hardly any- 
one who is really faithful to 

The king then revealed his 
identity and said, "Vijayvanu, I 
am very happy with your ability 
and I want to appoint you as my 

chief physician. Tomorrow I 
shall send a chariot for you and 
you shall come and live in the 
palatial house that will be allot- 
ted to you!" 

"My lord, I'm extremely for- 
tunate to have been of service to 
you. My great wish bas been 
fulfilled. But, pardon me for 
saying that I cannot accept the 
post and the position offered so 
kindly by Your Majesty." 

The king was surprised. 
"Why?" he asked. 

"My lord, if I come to the 
palace and become your chief 
physician, then I shall have to 
look after only your health and 
that of the members of the royal 

family. What will happen to the 
poor people who depend on 


The king realised that Vi- 
jayvanu was not only a great 
physician but also a deep lover 
of humanity. He said, "My 
friend, I appreciate your point 
of view. You are a true physi- 
cian. I shall have a big hospital 
constructed for you here itself 

so that you could be of service 
to a greater number ol people. 
Is that all right?" 

Vijayvanu was overjoyed. 
Bowing down, he replied, "My 
lord, that has been my dream. I 
shall be ever grateful to you for 

And, within a year a beautiful 
hospital was constructed and 
Vijayvanu took its charge. 


Towards Bittir English 


"Grandpa. I joined the town football team today. The Mayor referred to me as 
a dark horse. My friend said that he was critical of my ability. Was he?" 
asked Rajesh. 

"No, he was neither critical nor appreciative. In a race a horse whose 
capability is not known is called a dark horse. The expression extends to 
human beings. A player can bo referred to as a dark horse if his merits are 
not yet established," replied Grandpa Chowdhury. 

"With Rajesh the match is going to be a horseplay and it is going to raise a 
horse-laugh," commented Reena. 

"What d'you mean?" demanded Rajesh. 

"She does not mean what she says, I'm sure. Horseplay is a rough, 
boisterous play. Horse-laugh is a coarse laugh." 

"In other words, Rajesh, you have enough horse sense to refrain from 
behaving madly in the playground," cut in Reena. 

"How dare you attribute horse sense to me!" 

"Don't you worry, Rajesh," came Grandpa's intervention. "Horse sense 
means plain common sense. The horse has enriched the English vocabulary 
in many ways. A popular and old proverb is, 'You can take a horse to the 
water but you cannot make him drink.' Can you say what this means?" 

"Yes. You cannot induce someone to proceed in the desired direction 
beyond a certain point unless he consents to proceed," answered Rajesh. 

"Any other significant phrasB or proverb with horses, Grandpa?" asked 

"There are so many. I'll tell you of them in the evening." 


A young American named John Banvard set out 
on Mississippi river on a boat. As he rowed, he 
also stopped from lime to time and sketched the 
scenery. He put colour to his sketches after his 
grand voyage from the mouth of the river to 
New Orleans was over. It was on a canvas 
18,000 feel long and 12 feet wide— the world's 
longest painting! 

The 12th century Japanese Emperor, Sutoku, 
copied a Buddhist book in 135 pages using a red 
'ink' that was his own blood I 

In 1913 Albania had no king. A prince was to 
come from the Turkish royal family to adorn the 
vacant throne. 

The 'prince' arrived and was coronated. He 
ruled merrily for four days. On the 5th day it was 
discovered that the real prince was still in 
Turkey! By the time the prime minister rushed 
into the palace to confront the imposter, he had 
vanished! He was a circus joker! 

During the French Revolution (1789) the people 
of the province of Vendee stood firmly for the 
royal family that had been overthrown. Their 
greatest leader was Renee Bordereau. She had 
taken a vow to defeat the revolutionaries be- 
cause they killed her father before her eyes. 
Dressed like a man as Joan of Arc did, she 
fought 200 battles, never shrinking from dan- 

» : 
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ill 1! 1*111 

111 |l 

ill s* um 



M.C. Mgmtad M, NW)*" 

Can you formulate a captian in a few words, to suit these pictures related to 
each othor? If yes, you may write it on a post card and mail it to Photo 
Caption Contest. Chandamama, to reach us by 20th of the current month, A 
reward of Rs. 50/- will go to the best entry which will be published in the 
issue after the next. 

The Prize for July '85 goes to:— 
Miss. Ruby Hope' 

1 1/1 B Nakuleshwar Bhattercharjee Lane, Calcutta 700 026 
The Winning Entry: — 'Noisy Obstacle' & 'Admirable Spectacle' 


The one cruel fact about heroes is that they are made of flesh and blood. 

— Henry Arthur Jones 

The defects of great men are the consolation of dunces. 

— Isaac D'lsragli 

I have made mistakes, but I have never made the mistake of claiming that I 
never made one. 

— James Gordon Bennett